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Posts Tagged ‘MacRecycleClinic’

Tips to Fix a Slow-Starting Mac

September 5, 2017 Comments off

SILVER SPRING Md. (Sept. 5) – We come across all kinds of issues with older Macs at the MacRecycleClinic. Some are easily fixed. Others want to make you pull your hair out. But as we’ve gained experience in fixing these computers, there seems to be a set of solutions that usually will take care of the problem (short of reformatting the drive and installing a new version of the OS).

So here are some great tips to help you get your Mac loading faster – and hopefully operating in a way that will let you hold on to your hair. 🙂

Let’s start with a couple of old standbys:

  • Repair permissions on your Mac. It’s pretty easy to do if you’re running OSX Yosemite or earlier (Intel):

If you’re running El Capitan (10.11) or Sierra (10.12)  it’s a little more complicated because Apple has removed that capability from Disk Utility. Apple says:

But if you must,  there’s a way around that. (Thanks OSXDaily:)

  • Reset the PRAM (NVRam) (PRAM/NVRAM (nonvolatile random-access memory) is a small amount of memory that your Mac uses to store certain settings and access them quickly.)


Still having trouble or want to try something else – try these tips from our MRC Guru Lorin Evans:

  • Has the owner added any applications or ‘things’ since receiving the computer from you? If ‘yes’, have him/her download “Malwarebytes” and run it to make sure these new applications/things do not contain questionable stuff. (Video courtesy of Malwarebytes.)

 

 

 

  • Go to Startup Disk in System Preferences.

Be sure that the HD icon is selected. Lock and/or unlock as necessary to gain access to this item.

  • Stay in System Preferences. Go to Users & Groups. Click on “Login Items.” Are there any items there that the system wants to start at “startup”? If ‘yes’, delete the icon for that item.

  • Start Disk Utility (Applications ->Utilities->Disk Utility.app). Select the HD from the left column. Now look at the S.M.A.R.T. status line. Make sure it reads: “Verified”

  • Start the computer in ‘safe’ mode. Give it a minute or two after the desktop appears; then restart normally.

Got your own tips for speeding up a slow Mac? Let us know!

Helping People is What We Do!

June 13, 2014 Comments off
One of our favorite shots of Jim - here at a MacWorld Conference in NYC many years ago.

One of our favorite shots of Jim – here at a MacWorld Conference in NYC many years ago.

Always great to hear these kinds of stories that we can pass along to our Recyclemac readers.

This one comes from our own Jim Ritz – a long-time member of the MacRecycleClinic and the old Tuesday Night Crew at Washington Apple Pi when the club had a physical office in Rockville.

Jim writes:

Recently one of (MRC volunteer) Phil Marchetti’s clients said she had an old iMac that was of unknown status. She asked Phil if he could fix it and maybe she could pass it in to her handyman who couldn’t afford to buy a computer.

Phil said it worked but needed ram and who knows what else. Hearing the specs I knew we had ram of the type it needed. We increased the ram from 256 MB to 2.0 GB and installed the latest Mac OS that early Intel could handle and passed it on. The client gave MRC a donation as well.

This was a Win, Win, Win situation for all involved!

It is what MRC does.

Heading into August: Craigslist

August 4, 2013 Comments off

We’ve finally made it to Craigslist – a great way to get a free message out there that MRC is alive and well. We’ve continued to meet weekly at Marvin Church and have been busy helping folks, recycling older Macs by tearing them down into their components and refurbishing Macs for donation or sale (yes, we do sell refurbished Macs).

Here’s the ad you can find on the Maryland Craigslist page – “All Services Listed” -> Computer Services.
Craigslist interface is still pretty basic but they do allow you to add photos and a map these days, which can make a huge difference.

 

Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 5.17.28 PM

 

Critical Exposure’s Spring Exhibit a Hit with MRC Macs!

May 24, 2013 Comments off

The Washington, D.C. non-profit group Critical Exposure is celebrating it’s 8th annual spring exhibit – Zoom In: National Lens, Local Focus.  We are thrilled that they are using Macs donated by MacRecycleClinic for the exhibit, which features photography and writing by D.C. youth who are creating real change in their schools and communities.

The exhibit is at the Pepco Edison Gallery at 702 8th St. NW (a block from the Gallery Place metro).

Thanks to Merrill College of Journalism Lecturer and PhotoJournalist Bethany Swain for this great pic of a young visitor enjoying the Critical Exposure reception this past week. All the Mac PPC towers and monitors were donated by MRC.

Thanks to Merrill College of Journalism (University of Maryland) Lecturer and PhotoJournalist Bethany Swain for this great pic of a young visitor enjoying the Critical Exposure reception this past week. All the Mac PPC towers and monitors were donated by MRC.

A Thank You From The Blair HS PTSA

May 22, 2013 Comments off
English: It is the cupola at the front of Mont...

The cupola at the front of Montgomery Blair High School. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Posting this letter from Blair High School (Silver Spring, Md) PTSA “Prize Patrol” chair Christine White for the school’s popular After-Prom celebration. MRC donated computers and other prizes for the celebration – designed to keep students safe and secure after their Prom.

 

To Dave Ottalini and the MacRecycleClinic,

Thank you so much for your generous donation of two refurbished laptops, satellite radio and digital bank for this year’s After-Prom. We always know that the laptops are going to make a couple of Blair kids unbelievably happy (and this year is no exception!) but you’ll also be happy to know how incredibly popular the satellite radio turned out to be, with more than a hundred kids anxious to compete for the radio in our mini-raffle!

Extremely generous contributions like yours from friends and family of our Blair community are what makes the After-Prom festivities such a huge success, and what keeps our kids safe and healthy on the one night every year that our hardworking teens look forward to spending a fun and entertaining night together celebrating the many memories and good times of their four-year high school experience!!

We know how challenging it can be to juggle all the many worthy community causes that you service as part of the MacRecycleClinic, so we definitely want to let you to know how much we appreciate your continued support over many years to our students at Blair. Thank you again.

– And thank you to the Blair PTSA for the volunteer work all your parents contribute to the school (and to all parents frankly who give so much to their own school’s PTA/PTSA organizations – they all do good work!)

 

 

New Domain Name!

April 13, 2013 Comments off

Recyclemac.wordpress.com is now recyclemac.org – either will work but the “primary” URL is now much easier to use. Thanks to everyone for following us! There’s lot to talk about so stay tuned. 🙂

MacRecycleClinic Heads into 2013

January 23, 2013 Comments off
MRC Volunteer Jim Ritz works with a client's iMac

MRC Volunteer Jim Ritz works with a client’s iMac

We’ve hit January yet again and MRC continues to move forward with its goal of recycling and refurbishing Macs. Over the past few months, we have started moving away from most of the older PPC models save the newest and fastest model G4s and G5s. Interestingly, one of the predictors here are Macs that use the original Airport card. Turns out they are becoming incompatible with newer wireless systems – they are not able to provide the higher level of security these new wireless systems demand and won’t let the Macs log into the network. That said – if you need an original Airport or Airport Express let us know – we have many for sale inexpensively!

We’re starting to see some Intels coming in finally but many have had hard use or were damaged when picked up. So we have continued to gather equipment and then try to make one good machine from 2 or more that are damaged.

We’ve continued to donate machines to local school students and families in the Silver Spring area and remain open to recommendations from school counselors or non profits. Recently, we gave a machine to a 6 year old who is being home-schooled. He and his mom took a cab and buses all the way over from Landover to pick up their iMac. We are planning once again to provide laptops to Montgomery County Schools in the Downcounty Consortium for their AfterProm/PostProm parties. We were able to provide machines to every school in the Downcounty last year!

Machines that can not be salvaged are now totally disassembled (to the extent that they can) and are recycled both to a third part recycling company or back to the Montgomery County Government’s Shady Grove Transfer Station in Derwood.

MRC Volunteers work on a sad iMac

MRC Volunteers Jade Curtis and Phil Marchetti work on a sad iMac while MRC clients look on.

We continue our Monday Night Clinic at Marvin Church (Four Corners/Silver Spring) from 7 to 9 pm and tho we are not overwhelmed (a good thing!), we have had a steady stream of folks coming in for help. Some folks have sick Macs, others are looking for help transferring their data from an old machine to a new one. We’re here to help! And trust that we will tell you if we can’t repair something as well.

One frustration remains the Mac Lab we set up at Marvin for use by students or the community – it just sits there unused at the moment. We are hoping the folks at Marvin can find a way to get some adult supervision in the afternoon so the lab can be used.

Please let us know how we can help! We have folks with many, many years of experience who are willing to do things Apple and local businesses are unwilling to do (because it is not cost effective for the most part). As a non-profit, we simply ask for a donation for our time – all the money goes to MRC since we are all volunteers.

 

An Update and Look Forward to the Summer

May 27, 2012 Comments off

Monday Night Clinic - MRCOnce again I wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone for reading the blog and giving us a chance to talk about what MacRecycleClinic is all about. The stats say we have had more than 7,000 hits – just amazing for an occasional blog. So thank you!

The Clinic is only open Mondays (save holidays) from 7 to 9 PM which makes it a challenge for folks to find us or take advantage of our services. We only work on out-of-warranty machines but love to answer questions and can help install software or hardware on any Mac. We have also been asked to help grab information from older machines (going WAY BACK in fact to original Macs and even Apple IIs and ///s) or just help keep older machines working.

Read more…

Recycling Memories: 2002

March 4, 2012 Comments off

These early Bondi iMacs were refurbished by the old Washington Apple Pi "Tuesday Night Crew" that is now MacRecycleClinic. They all went to good homes. Note the G4 towers providing support!

As I have time – I will reprint some articles about recycling that I (or others in what is now the MacRecycleClinic group) wrote about our efforts over the years to refurbish and return Macs back into the community. I’m doing this not only to preserve the articles but to show just how far back MRC and our old Washington Apple Pi Tuesday Night Crew goes – how our efforts to recycle have gone back to Apple II days in fact. I’ll add photos as well when possible.

Note that in 2012 MCPS – Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools – basically only supports PCs these days. That said, MRC has had luck working with school counselors and PTSAs to get computers to students and families that don’t have computers.  If you have a group that is trying to recycle computers, be sure to check and see what your local school district will – or won’t – accept. But there are many non-profits, students and families who would appreciate a refurbished computer. I just read the newspaper, work with local churches and school groups and never have a problem finding someone who could use a recycled Macintosh.

Read more…

MacRecycleClinic – A Busy Time for Mac Recycling

September 25, 2011 Comments off
Members of the Monday Night Crew work on a sick Mac

The Monday Clinic is always busy these days.

It’s been awhile but I wanted to bring all our readers and supporters up-to-date on how things are going at the MacRecycleClinic. As you’ve read in past blog posts, it took about two years for the MRC to move from being a part of Washington Apple Pi to become a 501(c)3 non-profit and to find a new home.

Our space at Marvin Memorial United Methodist Church is already crowded but has become perfect for our needs. We have workspace for our donations and to refurbish computers that will ultimately find their way back into the community. We have a “clinic space” in Room 204 at Marvin where we hold our Monday clinics.  And we have taken some space downstairs at the church to create a storage space and more importantly – a Mac Lab for use by students from Blair High School and the community. It should be ready to go on-line soon.

I’ll have to say it took awhile for folks to learn that we were “back in business” but I’m thrilled to report that most Mondays we are busy – a good thing! We want to help Mac owners get the most out of their machines – whether it means replacing or repairing a hard drive, adding memory, installing software or just doing some troubleshooting.

But our bread and butter is taking newer PowerPC G4 and G5 computers (and hopefully Intels soon), refurbishing them and then returning them back to the community. We continue to take donations and have worked out an agreement with Montgomery County to scavenge Macs that have been sent for recycling to the Shady Grove Transfer Station.

In just the past few months we’ve reached out to a number of Washington Area groups, as well as Blair and Northwood High Schools. We have given computers to families and students and we are starting to get more calls for donations as well. In all cases we look for referrals from organizations – non profits, schools and other groups are in the best situation to know who would benefit most from a computer. In all cases, we are happy to work with these groups and get these computers out the door. In some cases we can also provide a printer – though basic printers these days are very inexpensive (and you can find them at Goodwill and other thrift stores).

If your organization would be interested in creating a Macintosh Lab we can also likely help with that so please let us know.  All our contact information is right here on recyclmac or you can go to our MacRecycleClinic home page for more information.

MacRecycleClinic is a small non profit trying to help the ecology by recycling Macintosh computers. For companies like Apple, this kind of effort should be welcomed (they do have their own recycling program in fact) because a student who uses a Mac now could well become a customer in the future. And everything we can do to keep these machines serving productive lives for a few more years is a worthwhile endeavor. These machines can surf the web, send and receive email and help find jobs, fill out resumes and create term papers. We do appreciate your support as we work on this effort – something our members have felt passionate about for decades.

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